My theme for the 2021 Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to give an overview of what it is like to be visually impaired. I also hope to address some misconceptions regarding the blind and low vision community. In this post I want to highlight some recreation activities that have become olympic sports that are accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.
Yes it is possible to race down a snow covered mountain when you are blind or visually impaired. This is possible with the help of a teammate as they provide audio description. Skiing is not just for recreation but blind and visually impaired athletes compete at the olympic level. Here is a video demonstrating how it is done.
Judo is a form of Japanese martial art. This is another olympic sport that is accessible to blind or low vision athletes. Learn more in the videos below.
This is similar to FIFA football with a few modifications. Here is how it is done at the olympic level.
Some extra thoughts
It is possible for blind to enjoy sports and even take part at an olympic level. You can find a list of olympic sports that are accessible to blind and visually impaired people here.
Goalball is a sport specifically created for those who are blind or have low vision. It seems similar to football as the opposite team’s objective is to get the ball in the other team’s goal. The ball is thrown but never kicked. The ball is outfitted with bells to help the players locate the ball.
This sport has grown in popularity over time and it has also reached Olympic status.
Goalball became a part of the Paralympics in 1976. Here is a better explanation of how it is played.
I think it is interesting that all players must play blindfolded. This truly forces each player to rely on their other senses and not on the little vision they may have left. It really levels the playing field.
I hope that more blind or visually impaired people will consider taking part in this sport. I think it is a great way to find community and participating in team sports can help a person grow in many ways.
You can find out more about goalball and how to join a local team within the United States here.
If you live outside of the United States check with your local association for blind athletes for information.
I have always been interested in Martial Arts. I took a basic class in middle school and enjoyed it. I want to point out that being visually impaired does not prevent a person from enjoying this activity.